While not a long time resident of Rock Island County, the subject of this sketch is a native of Illinois, son of pioneers of the State, and is descended from an ancestry that has participated in all the wars that the United States has waged. Mr. Hall was born in Menard County April 6, 1861, his parents being James P. and Mary J. (Pierce) Hall. His father was born in Lawrence County, Ohio, July 1, 1818, and his mother in Sangamon County, Illinois, August 16, 1830. James P. Hall was a son of Elisha Hall, a native of Bedford County, Virginia, and a descendant of the early pioneers who settled in that State long before the Revolutionary War. Elisha Hall married Nancy Overstreet, also born in Bedford County and of pioneer ancestry. Her father, John Overstreet, was a Revolutionary soldier under General Washington, and participated in the battles of the Cow Pens, Brandywine and Monmouth, among others, and was at the siege of Yorktown, when Lord Cornwallis was forced to surrender. During the War of 1812, Elisha Hall, his son-in-law, was drafted, and being the father of a large family who needed his support, he offered $100 for a substitute. Mr. Overstreet accepted the offer and, though well advanced in years, again bore arms against the British.
Elisha Hall, in an early day, settled in Lawrence County, Ohio, where he resided till the fall of 1826. Then, with his family, he removed to what is now Menard County, then Sangamon County, Illinois. He settled on a farm near Athens, passing the remainder of his days there and going to his reward in 1838. His wife survived till 1862. James P. Hall, son of Elisha and father of our subject, was a lifelong resident of Menard County, passing away there October 11, 1892, his wife following September 21, 1905. The latter was a daughter of Charles and Malinda (Anderson) Pierce, natives respectively of Tennessee and Kentucky, who settled in Sangamon County in 1825. Charles Pierce was First Lieutenant in Abraham Lincoln’s Company during the Black Hawk War and campaigned through Rock Island County at that time. To James P. Hall and wife fourteen children were born, seven surviving. They are Charles W., Emma, Caroline, Rosa, Laura J., Douglas E. and Mollie.
Douglas E. Hall was reared on a farm in Menard County, receiving a limited education in the public schools. Later in life he embraced every opportunity to overcome his lack of advantages early in life. and is now a fair type of what is known as the self-made man. After reaching his majority he traveled extensively for two years through the west and south. On returning he took charge of the old homestead and conducted it till his father’s death. In 1904 he came to Rock Island County and purchased a farm on Big Island, just outside the corporate limits of the Village of Milan. He owns three hundred and thirty-seven acres of highly productive land and has become recognized as one of the substantial farmers of the community. Mr. Hall is not married.